107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame Honorees Named

Edward J. Barry, Jr. and Linda E. Daley were named to the Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16 at Lincoln Branch, a restored Carnegie Library.

The Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame was established by the Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees in order to recognize individuals, families, corporations, foundations or organizations which have supported the Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch through distinguished effort or substantial financial donation.

An individual, family, corporation, foundation or organization may be nominated in recognition of outstanding contributions to the establishment and support of the Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch over the years, which resulted in its improvement, national recognition as an important historical structure or ability to continue providing library services to the people of Peoria.

Edward J. Barry, Jr. was a member of the architectural team that was working on bringing the dream of a reimagined Peoria Public Library system to life when in 2010, Mr. Barry proposed to the Library Board of Trustees that they apply for a National Register of Historic Places designation for Lincoln Branch. The building was one of the few remaining original Carnegie Libraries that has continued to function as a public library throughout its existence and, as such, is an architecturally-significant gem in the heart of Peoria. The plan for Lincoln Branch was to restore the original building while expanding the footprint with a thoroughly modern addition that could provide twenty-first century library service. On October 20, 2010 a request, with a Statement of Integrity written by Ed Barry, was submitted to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. In January of 2011 the Peoria Public Library was invited to apply for National Register of Historic Places designation. Ed recruited members of Farnsworth Group, River City Construction, and Roeckers to complete sections of the complicated reports, working on many pieces himself as well as directing work on the slide presentation to the final hearing and accompanying Trustees to the presentation in Springfield. The Lincoln Branch application faced significant hurdles throughout the restoration process. Through the multi-year, often frustrating and discouraging battle to meet the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency requests, Ed Barry provided passionate, capable, committed support to the project. His inspiration for and continued dedication to pursuit of the historic designation were the driving force behind achieving the ultimate goal of placing Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch on the National Register of Historic Places, thus preserving it for generations to come.

Linda E. Daley served as a Trustee of the Peoria Public Library governing board during the “Close the Gaps: Libraries for All” Peoria Public Library capital improvement project which began in 2006. The newly created strategic plan called for offering facilities capable of providing cutting edge library service. One of the guiding lights of this capital improvement program was the equitable distribution of public library services to all neighborhoods and sections of the City of Peoria. Thus, when the decision was made to add the new North Branch to the far northwest corner of the City, “closed the gaps” and made sure that the older, south side part of our community received the same attention by advocating for the expansion of the Lincoln Branch. She also served as the Chairwoman of the Library Board of Trustees Building Committee at this same time, managing the entire design and construction phases of that process during committee meetings conducted weekly for a multi-year period. In spite of several major challenges, such as the $500,000 in additional expense at the Lincoln Park site required to relocate historic grave features in order to accommodate the Lincoln addition, Linda successfully guided the Building Committee, Board and Community to the completion of the Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch which stands as both a recognized historic monument and a beacon for literacy and community service in Peoria’s south side.


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